Being grateful isn’t just something you read in a greeting card. Having gratitude is an attitude that once adopted can change your life. The benefits of gratitude give you a new perspective, affect your health, personality, emotions, career, and the relationships around you. While this time of year is a great time to express what you’re thankful for, an attitude of gratitude is something that should be implemented all year round.
Gratitude takes your health to new levels. When you truly embrace what you’re grateful for, you’ll begin to see your stress decrease. That in itself is a huge factor in how your immune system will react when being attacked. The emotions you experience while feeling appreciation actually induces a relaxation response. Studies have shown that high blood pressure was significantly decreased in patients who made a gratitude list once a week. Other studies have shown that this new way of thinking reflects an improvement in sleep quality, along with higher vitality and energy.
Gratitude can also affect your personality and emotions. When you count your blessings, you naturally become more optimistic. That half empty glass becomes full, and you in turn, become less self-centered. Humility is present, which gives way to meaning in less materialistic things. This doesn’t mean you don’t want or shouldn’t have nice things; it simply means you begin to appreciate what you do have instead of focusing on what you lack. Throughout this process, you’ll notice that your self-esteem is higher, and without all of the ungrateful clutter in your mind, you’ll have room for deeper spirituality. Remember that the opposite of gratitude is self-absorption, which is tangled up with many other personality defects, including guilt, entitlement, manipulation, inability to apologize, rumination, fear, and anxiety. Adopting what you appreciate in life will aid in resilience, happier memories, reduction of envy, and a level of emotional safety you may have never experienced before.
As you increase your gratitude, your career will be boosted, along with your relationships. You’ll be better at networking, become more goal-oriented, make more sound decisions, and be able to better manage your workload. As a result, people will genuinely enjoy your company. The icing on the cake is that gratitude is contagious. When you begin this new journey into being thankful for what you have, you will begin to influence others without even trying. Those around you will be touched by your new perspective, and oftentimes will begin to change themselves as you lead by example. This holiday season, try adopting an attitude of gratitude and reap the amazing benefits. Start by making your own gratitude list today, and apply it all year round!